Sloan Fellowship awarded to CS Alumni Christo Wilson

February 21, 2019

Computer Science Alumni, Christo Wilson, has been awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship this year. 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation congratulates the winners of the 2019 Sloan Research Fellowships. These 126 early-career scholars represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive $70,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.

Christo Wilson is an Associate Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. Professor Wilson received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, working under Professor Ben Y. Zhao. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award from UCSB in 2012 and received a Best Paper Award at SIGCOMM in 2011. He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2016, and his work is funded by Verisign, the Data Transparency Lab, the Knight Foundation, and the European Commission.

Professor Wilson performed the first large-scale measurements of Facebook in 2008 to understand how users form friendships and interact. These insights about the behavior of normal people enabled Professor Wilson to develop novel techniques for combating spam and fake accounts on social networks, even when the attacks are perpetrated by real people instead of automated software bots. These techniques have been successfully deployed on LinkedIn and Renren. Professor Wilson has shared anonymized social network datasets with over 500 research groups around the world and continues to open-source the code and data from his work examining algorithms and personalization on the Web.

Professor Wilson helped organize the first annual ACM Conference on Online Social Networks (COSN), and continues to serve on the program committees for several conferences, including WWW, IMC, and ICWSM. His work has been covered extensively in the press, including the CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post.